Brewster backed down for our trip finale in Chicago and let me sit in the dugout again. The 100-degree heat played a part, because the bullpens at Wrigley were uncovered and we couldn’t imagine the weather was fit for man, beast, or Peanut Killer. Only problem was that I had to listen to the same idiot fan heckle Mays every time he ran on or off the field.
“Hey Willie! You’re good but you ain’t no Ernie!”
Long as they kept race out of it, Mays was too nice and confident to let any barbs bug him. Each time the guy started in he just pounded his glove and tosses a fresh warmup ball out to Wagner as he loped out.
Of course, the fact that Ernie Banks walloped a two-run homer of Gomez in the 1st, then singled to start a rally in the 3rd only made the fan louder.
“Ya see what I mean, Willie? You’re good but you ain’t no Ernie!”
I snuck a peak out, just to make sure it wasn’t our friendly suspect again, then retreated into the non-broiling shade. Moryn and Tony Taylor also knocked homers for the Cubs, and we were down 6-1 when Baby Bull Cepeda came charging and snorting into the dugout after the 4th.
“We can’t take this, man!” he yelled, “Dick Drott is a lousy payaso, and I’m the only one hittin’ him!” With a single and homer so far, Cepeda was right. He tossed cold, wet towels in many faces, and the dugout got a little electrified.
Except for me and Antonelli down at the far end. Johnny, off his second win and first shutout of the year, had his feet up on the dugout bench, scouring through movie starlet photos in the entertainment section of the Chicago Tribune.
“Can you believe it? Not one stinkin’ Marilyn in here!” he growled.
“She does have to sleep once in a while, y’know.”
On the field, Bressoud and Wagner singled, but Mays popped out to Banks. Oh boy…
“YOU HEAR ME WILLIE? YOU’RE GOOD BUT YOU AIN’T NO ERNIE!!”
Cepeda barked something in Spanish to himself, marched to the plate and hit Drott’s first fastball completely over the left field bleachers to put us back in the game. Antonelli got off the bench for a moment to shake Orlando’s hand after he circled the bases, then went back to his newspaper.
Which was when I saw the item on the back page.
“FEMALE SCRIBBLERS CONVENE” the headline read over a photo. Ten or so ladies sitting in a large circle with notepads and pens, on what looked like the porch of a remote country lodge.
I peered closer. The woman seated closest to the camera was clearly the missing, nearly presumed dead Liz Dumas.
“Holy cow…” I muttered, and snatched the paper out of Antonelli’s hands. The group was something called the McCullers Club, an “exclusive, two-week retreat for female writers” outside of Albia, Iowa.
“You find a Marilyn picture?” asked Johnny.
“Uh-uh. Much better.”
A Davenport homer and two singles brought in ace Cubs reliever Bill Henry the next inning. Hank Sauer tied it up with a pinch single before Mays put us ahead to stay and shut up Mr. Loudmouth forever with a three-run smash homer.
Of course, by the time that happened I had slipped out of the dugout, back into my street clothes and out of Wrigley without one FBI man spotting me. A half hour after that I had rented an old Ford sedan. That’s right. To hell with Brewster, to hell with my Nick Testa costume and to hell with that sick, lying freak of a Peanut Killer. I was headed to Iowa.
S.F. 001 035 000 – 9 13 0
CHI 321 000 000 – 6 9 1
W-Gomez L-Drott SV-Jones HRS: Cepeda-2, Mays, Davenport, Banks, Moryn, T. Taylor GWRBI-Mays
CIN 000 000 000 – 0 5 1
MIL 000 200 10x – 3 9 0
Robinson and Temple return from brief injuries, but nothing is helping Cincy these days. And the punishing Braves pitching doesn’t help, Joey Jay with today’s brilliance.
NOTE: Cards and Dodgers are traveling west for a twi-night doubleheader with fireworks at the Coliseum tomorrow…
NYY 000 000 005 003 – 8 14 0
BAL 000 111 020 000 – 5 12 1
W-Duren L-Wilhelm HRS: Mantle, Triandos, GWRBI-Skowron
Quite possibly the turning point of the American League season. Hal Brown puts Yankees all over the bases for eight innings, but they can’t push across one run. It’s 5-0 Birds when McDougald leads the 9th with a single. With one gone, Slaughter pinch-hits a triple. A passed ball gets Enos home to make it 5-2. After Carey beats out an infield single, Wilhelm relieves. Walks Bauer but whiffs Siebern. All he has to is retire the Mick, who is 1-for-3 with a walk. Mick blasts one halfway to Chesapeake Bay and the game is tied. Ryne Duren throws four innings of relief until Wilhelm self-destructs again in the 12th, the Yanks scoring three times on two walks and two singles. Baltimore drops six back in the loss column and has now lost nine of twelve to New York—the difference in the standings.
WAS 000 000 100 – 1 3 0
BOS 000 220 20x – 6 9 0
W-Sullivan L-Kemmerer GRS: Sievers, Jensen GWRBI-Jensen
Frank Sullivan retires the first 20 nasty Nats before Sievers hits HR #31 off him. Whatever.
K.C. 120 111 000 – 6 11 2
DET 230 200 01x – 8 9 0
W-Bunning L-Urban SV-Aguirre HRS: DeMaestri, Simpson, House, Harris-2, Maxwell GWRBI-Maxwell
Home run derby early on, but Aguirre puts a stop to Bunning’s gopher-itis with three and a third innings of shutout relief as the Tigers inch back up to .500.
ALSO: I’ll be gabbing about the contest tonight (Monday 8/20) on the Dave Kaufman Show, around 9:15 Eastern. Just click Listen Live at TSN990 Montreal radio.
National League through Wednesday, July 2
American League through Wednesday, July 2
BONUS: TEAM RUN DIFFERENTIALS!
Red Sox +51
White Sox –17